LEWISTON — The former Pizza Hut on Lisbon Street is becoming The Ark.
The Northern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists bought the building and started renovating it over the summer, associate pastor Don Ball said Tuesday.
They plan to host church services on Saturdays and regular discussions most weeknights, and eventually open a vegetarian restaurant.
"Everybody's welcome," Ball said. "I've talked with atheists who are interested in the other programs, but they're not interested in church. They're just as welcome as anybody else. We want to meet the needs of all people, if we can."
Pastor Rick Kuntz will be the director of the facility, which they're calling The Ark, Ball said. They hope to start the programming in January. The restaurant, open for lunch at first, will come later.
Evenings could see regular lectures from doctors at Parkview Adventist Medical Center, herbal classes, parenting classes, vegetarian and vegan cooking classes, Bible studies and classes for youths. Counseling will be available some afternoons. Everything at The Ark, apart from the restaurant, will be free to low-cost, Ball said.
The building at 791 Lisbon St. was appealing for its high-traffic location and price, he said.
So far, more than 200 people have responded to the church's community-needs survey.
"We're trying to cater to all of them mentally, physically and spiritually," Ball said. "People seem excited about it, too. We've got very good feedback."